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Choosing to Live
Emotions & Challenges, Grief Journey, Losing a Spouse or Partner

The Journey: Choosing to Live

I’ve reached a point at nearly 10 months where I believe I have to make the biggest choice a person bereaved by suicide could ever have to make. The choice seems to be the choice to live. “Choose life.” I used to think this was a glib, shallow statement. But now I realize it is deep–so deep.

If I could choose to end this pain, would I? Yes! I am desperate to end the pain, but the problem is, it’s impossible, without ending life itself. I’ve been to the edge and back and in a way, I will always be drawn to just ending this pain, stopping it. This has affected my outlook on deep levels. I no longer care if I am diagnosed with cancer tomorrow. I don’t drink much alcohol, but I smoke now and again and I don’t care what it does to me. I completely understand now how some people can become drawn into and die from opiate addiction. I will never do that but I have 100% empathy for those that do.

The real choice is now showing itself to me: choosing to live.

Somehow, I have to do this while continuing to grieve. I didn’t think it was possible to do both, but I have reached a point of being so sick and tired of being in constant pain and sorrow. I’ve been making attempts to go out more socially and meet people. Every time I do this, I’ve been able to get a bit more of my personality back. I’ve enjoyed the distraction of talking to people and doing things, but always at the end of the day, I come back to being alone with myself and thinking of my partner and beseeching the universe to please send him back to me. What a huge hole he has left in my life and my being. He is so incredibly missed.

I must still make the choice to live, despite this. I feel I must go forward although the pain is so crushing at times I can hardly breathe. It is frightening to go forward because I’m scared I might at any point fall into a deep black hole. I don’t quite even know what I mean by this. I think I’m scared of further loss, further misfortune. It feels like any further hurt could break me. But yet again, this matter seems to come down to choice. Choosing to have this fear and still live life.

Perhaps I need to honor and respect the fact I have any such choices… perhaps I can choose to be a survivor rather than a victim.

About the Author

Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »